Jørgen Tharaldsen, Product Director at Funcom, talks to MTV about long term prospects for the game not World of Warcraft or Warhammer:
I think it’s okay to say that we simply didn’t deliver as good as we should have on all the launch features. That said, I do think we went out the gate with some extremely strong ones too (i.e. combat, graphics, presentation, audio, maturity, story and quests, Tortage etc.), which made us a giga-hit in retail and gave us some great reviews. But on other features we just didn’t polish it well enough, including our items, tradeskills, system performance and PvP.
Oh, and nerfing anyone with breasts. But that’s better now!
I also think the question is symptomatic of some of the word of mouth issues we have. There is no denying that we launched “Age of Conan” with initial issues, but the memory and word of mouth of what we once were compared to what we have done to the game since launch, and where we are going, doesn’t necessarily match up.
This just in: launching a polished product MAY be important. But it’s OK, because, well, the fantasy MMO market just isn’t that crowded!
I think we can also see, pretty clearly, the competitive landscape for fantasy MMO’s well into 2011 or so. For the fantasy genre there are some five plus western majors which are live (”WoW,” “WAR,” “Lord of the Rings Online,” “Guild Wars,” “Conan” and “EverQuest,” with dark horses here and there), and only a few major ones (that I know of) which are coming up in the next couple of years. That means we have a solid chance of remaining a key contender in the fantasy space for many years to come, with strengths the others won’t match.
We won’t ever be #1 like “WoW,” but we will for sure fight for the space below them.
Hopefully without slower combat animations.